What was happening during Opening Day of the 1988 Utah Summer Games ended up really being what wasn't happening, as in the postponement of Monday's opening ceremonies and assorted competition in tennis and swimming.
However, in true the-show-must-go-on spirit, executive director Rich Wilson said the opening ceremonies scheduled for Southern Utah State's Thunderbird Stadium will now shift to Saturday night at to becoming the closing ceremonies. The ceremonies will be joined with the awards recognition banquet to avoid any scheduling conflict on Saturday.Monday's forecast of 50 percent probability of precipitation turned into a 100 percent reality. The way that the rain was coming down late Monday afternon, Iron County was sure to rust and Cedar City was certain to warp. But despite clearing up somewhat just before the scheduled 8 p.m. starting time, the damage had already been done.
Most folks were talking about the demise of the backdrop erected in the Thunderbird Stadium end zone, with scaffolding and steel posts used to raise some 30 60-foot-high multi-color banners. Strong winds accompanying the storm blew the backdrop over and into the goalpoasts.
"Steel and banners are all replaceable and repairable . . . . Luckily one was was hurt and everything will be ready to go," Wilson said.
Although no physical injuries were reported, Wilson admitted to feeling quite pained for the planning and efforts put into the presently-postponed ceremonies. "I hurt for them," he said.
However, Wilson remained optimistic about the change of plans, with the last-minute scrambling hastened by Mother Nature. With the finals in 15 sports scheduled for Saturday, Wilson said he is excited at the prospects of more athletes participating in and enjoying Saturday's opening _ er, rather, closing _ ceremonies, which will feature nearly all the activities previously planned for Monday night.
Tennis and swimming competitors tried to brave the storm early, but the swingin' in the rain and the swimmin' in the rain gave way to seeking cover from the heavy rains and threatening lightening. Like the opening ceremonies, Monday's remaining tennis and swimming was postponed _ but only to Tuesday.
And while we're looking ahead, what does the five-day forecast say about Saturday night's weather? "I haven't had the guts to even check," Wilson said.
SHOOTING: OK, technically speaking, the Games opened Saturday with trap-shooting competition. Danny Washburn of Monroe won the men's advanced with a score of 99. Roger Carter of Minersville and Troy Anderson of Sandy won the men's novice and junior gold medals, respectively, with scores of 93, while an 88 by Sherri Isom of Cedar City was good for first in the women's division.
SWIMMING: Yolanda Bates of Logan claimed three gold medals Monday before the afternoon competition was washed out. Her wins in the 100-meter breaststroke and 200 individual medley and freestyle, with all three setting new marks in the women's open division.
GYMNASTICS: Ramsi Knowlten of Murray won the Class IV all-around for 7- and 8-year olds, finishing in the top two of all four individual events. Jenny Potter of Kaysville claimed the all-around in the 9-11 category, winning the floor and beam as well. Mandy Myers of Sandy took all-around honors in the Class IV 12-14 age category.